"Huang'er, what's making you so sad? You and I have weathered life and death. No one can tear us apart in this life. Now that your Generation Binding Curse is undone, I can handle whatever comes, even if the skies cave in…" Jiang Chen stretched out a hand and clumsily wiped away the tears at the girl's eyes.
Warmth suffused Huang'er's heart when she took note of Jiang Chen's ungainly motions. She valiantly got her emotions back under control and smiled. "Brother Chen, I just thought of the tragic parts of my background, is all, and couldn't help myself all of a sudden. Don't think less of me!"
Jiang Chen's mood took a turn for the better when he saw the girl smile. He cupped her cheeks and planted a moving kiss on her forehead.
"Don't you worry. The skies can't really cave in, but even if they do, I'll be right there to hold them up for you. This isn't an empty bluff, but a promise from me to you." Jiang Chen grasped Huang'er's hands and looked deep into her eyes with his solemn vow.
The fiery passion in his eyes would melt even the hardest ice, much less a couple madly in love. Huang'er was filled with boundless joy at these words. She nodded rapidly, wanting to fully preserve this happiness in her heart.
"Brother Chen… I…" The normally coolly composed Huang'er was overcome with emotion. Her heart pounded frantically in the face of such ardent declarations, and a bright flush crept up her neck.
Their eyes met, their lips inexorably attracted to each other like two ends of a magnet. In this moment, even the bright moon ducked behind a patch of clouds and refused to peek out. Languid feelings of love flowed in the courtyard.
An exceedingly discordant sound cut through the perfect atmosphere.
It was… a cough. An extremely sudden, perplexing, mood-killing cough…
Jiang Chen didn't make out who it'd come from, but he really wanted to smack whichever idiot it was to death.
"Ai. Huang'er. Once is bad enough, must it happen a second time?" A clear voice cut through the air.
Hmm? Jiang Chen froze when he heard the voice. It was very foreign, absolutely the first time he'd ever heard of it. Who is it?
He moved Huang'er behind him and deployed God's Eye to the utmost. "Who is it?!"
It would be a lie to say that he wasn't alarmed at the moment. Security around the young lord residence was high and not just anyone could enter the Nine Sparks Petalstorm Formation. But here the voice was just in front of of them!
No matter who the other was, he'd been able to make it past the formation and into the residence. It was a most apprehensive development!
However, Huang'er grasped Jiang Chen's hand tightly with an indifferent expression. "Elder Xi, you seemed to have gone back on your word. Don't forget what you promised me!"
The sky was quiet for a long moment. Jiang Chen couldn't detect any ripples no matter how he deployed his consciousness. The void around them seemed to have sunk into unending emptiness, as if the residence had disconnected from the rest of Sacred Peafowl Mountain.
A soft sigh travelled from the air after a long time.
"I don't wish to do anything that ruins the mood, but Miss Huang'er, it would be a mistake upon a mistake if you took another step forward. Spilt water can't be gathered up, what's done wouldn't be able to be undone afterwards. Have you considered the consequences?" The one who Huang'er called Elder Xi finally spoke.
Jiang Chen snorted coldly. "Who might you be? What kind of person are you to hide and cower like this? Show yourself, no matter who you are!"
He'd perceived that the other wasn't a simple character. It was obvious that it must be someone from Myriad Abyss Island. Huang'er didn't stop him, only tightened her grasp on Jiang Chen's arm, as if deathly afraid that he would suddenly disappear.
"You're quite bold, young man, to falsely use the name of Myriad Abyss Island. Aren't you afraid that your lawless actions will bring down an extinction event on your Sacred Peafowl Mountain?"
Jiang Chen chuckled softly. "Myriad Abyss Island doesn't belong to one particular person. Don't you find your threat rather bizarre?"
Strange ripples suddenly emanated from the air, like an air current swirling through the void. It coalesced in the next second, revealing an elder not too far from Jiang Chen.
It was an ethereal-looking elder dressed in apricot yellow robes. He looked older than Elder Shun, but his eyes were uncommonly radiant. There seemed to be the infinite mysteries of the world hidden within.
"Huang'er, is the young man the person who cured your poison?"
Huang'er pulled on Jiang Chen's arm proudly. "That's him, Elder Xi. I've already pledged myself to him. Whether in life or death, I, Yan Qinghuang, am his woman."
Yan Qinghuang? Jiang Chen started. It was the first time he'd heard Huang'er's real name. The girl murmured, "Brother Chen, I didn't tell you before not because I wanted to lie or hide things from you. I was afraid that if I suddenly left you one day, you'd look for me everywhere. That would only drag you down…"
Elder Xi frowned slightly. His woman whether in life or death? This brat?!
"Impossible!" Although Elder Xi's tone was tough, his heart softened under Huang'er's forceful gaze. "Huang'er, you've always been smart. You should know that had your illness not been treated, there might've been a chance for you two. But since you've been cured, any possibility for the two of you is no longer. I admit that this child is different from normal mundane youths. But Huang'er, you know what will happen to Sacred Peafowl Mountain if you stubbornly continue on your path."
Huang'er had nothing to say to that. An exceedingly pained look appeared in her clear eyes, as if her heart had been broken into pieces by someone else's bare hands.
"Elder Xi, is it?" Anger surged in Jiang Chen's heart when he saw his woman this saddened and despairing. "I don't care who you are and what relationship you have with Huang'er. I only want to tell you that the skies won't fall in when I'm here. And even if they do, I can hold them up!"
Elder Xi sniffed derisively, but there seemed to be a hint of admiration within. It was drowned out by mockery and his expression suddenly sank. "And if you no longer existed?"
Huang'er panicked when she heard this. "Elder Xi, I'll die right here in front of you if you dare do anything!"
Jiang Chen's anger exploded into fury and he seemed willing to do anything. He wrapped his arms around his woman. "Huang'er, don't be afraid! Who is he?! Is he the evil family who cast the curse on your parents and wants to use you as a cultivation cauldron?"
Frosty killing intent shot out from Jiang Chen's eyes as he pieced together a plan. If the other really was a Myriad Abyss Island expert, then he was very likely stronger than a great emperor. Sacred Peafowl Mountain had no way to resist a personage like this.
The strongest trump card Jiang Chen had in his hand was the restriction in the abode that mid-empyrean expert Guo Ran had left behind. He wouldn't hesitate to use it if they really did erupt in open hostilities.
Huang'er quickly called out when she felt killing intent surge in her lover. "Don't misunderstand, Brother Chen. Elder Xi's not from that family. He's… from my Yan family."
"What?" Jiang Chen was thoroughly taken aback. Someone on their side?
"Brother Chen, Elder Xi is an elder of my family and has an even higher position than Elder Shun. He's one of the great elders of my family."
Elder Xi frowned again. "Huang'er, there's no need to tell an outsider so many family secrets. Don't force me to destroy our agreement and kill him."
Huang'er snorted lightly. "I won't live on if anything happens to him!"
The elder was displeased and snorted dismissively. "Brat, stop making faces at me. No matter how strong you are, you're still relying on a woman to protect you today."
"Enough, Elder Xi!" Huang'er wouldn't bear any insults to her beloved man. Normally placid to both insult and compliment, she roared like a leopard. "Brother Chen is the foremost beneath the heavens! Elder Xi, if he'd been born on Myriad Abyss Island, he would stomp on both Yan and Xiahou descendants! They wouldn't be fit to carry his shoes!"
"Heh heh, Miss Huang'er, I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Elder Xi thought nothing of Huang'er's words. "This kid has a bit of skill and enough courage. However, a lowly birth is his original sin. What can he do in this life? So what if he trains to peak great emperor and can sweep the human domain? Compared to those in our world, we're the heavens and he the earth, and a tiny ant on the ground at that."
Elder Xi highly valued bloodlines. How would a lowly peon in the human domain compare to the noble bloodlines of Myriad Abyss Island? So what if one was monstrous in the human domain? How many heroes in the human domain commanded the skies and rain? But they couldn't even get to Myriad Abyss Island.
And even if they were so lucky as to make it, they'd find out that a lowly birth was just a lowly birth in the end. They were nothing.
Huang'er's face was as white as a sheet. She was highly infuriated by this response. "Elder Xi, Brother Chen isn't the ant you think of. You…"
"That's enough. I don't care if he's an ant or not. You should be rejoicing that it's me here this time and not anyone else from the family. This place would be a mountain of corpses and blood by now if so. If someone from House Xiahou came, then the entire Veluriyam Capital would be destroyed. To House Xiahou, taking you in is the greatest sacrilege! Would they care about a bunch of ants in their anger?"